When Texas patriot José Antonio Navarro wrote his memoirs, he said, “Thousands upon thousands of gold and silver coins arrived in the city every two months for the luxurious maintenance of the troops.”
Obviously, there was money to be made, and Don Francisco Rodriguez was one who did so with great success. Now, the Don had a beautiful daughter by the name of Dolores. He had a son, too, also named Francisco—but who was nicknamed Pancho and was in the Spanish Army.
Then there was a Spanish captain named Cordero, who fell madly in love with Dolores; his love was returned. While this romance was blossoming, Spain and France were each trying to get possession and control of Texas. Captain Cordero, for reasons we do not know, came under suspicion of the Spanish authorities. He was about to be sent away. Desperate to stay near his sweetheart, he decided to change sides and join the French Army.
The French forces advanced, and the Spanish rose to meet them. Meanwhile, Don Francisco, fearing that the French would win and he would lose his treasure of silver and gold, hid it near San Pedro Springs, in a cavern sealed with a large stone. He told no one—not even his daughter—where it was.
While Don Francisco was hiding his treasure, Cordero and Pancho were both in the front lines of their respective forces. The two men found themselves in a sword battle, and they fought until they both were grievously wounded—and died.
When Don Francisco got the terrible news of his beloved son’s death, he had a stroke. He asked for his daughter—who had been at church praying for the safety of her brother and her sweetheart—to be brought to him. She hurried home, but it was too late. Don Francisco had died, and had taken the information about where his treasure was buried to the grave.
Dolores, who had lost her father, her brother, and her sweetheart all at once, died soon thereafter, likely from a broken heart.
The story of the buried treasure did not die, though. A search was made for a cavern where it might be—and one was found. Those who entered it said the place was infested with snakes, bats, and wolves. One man fired a gun at a wolf, and the force of the explosion in an enclosed place brought much of the cavern down in a rockslide. But that didn’t stop other treasure-hunters.
However, one by one, they came out empty-handed—and deeply fearful. No one ever went back a second time. Some shook their heads and refused to talk about their experiences. Some said they saw a mysterious blue light. And some said they had seen a ghost, who sometimes seemed to resemble Don Francisco, or Dolores, or Pancho.
At any rate, the centuries have passed. Knowledge of the whereabouts of the cave is lost in time. And the riches of Don Francisco have never been found. His legendary secret still sleeps, undisturbed, somewhere near San Pedro Springs.